Mortgage approvals fall to lowest level since start of the year

Bank of England says that this was the third consecutive month that mortgage approvals have fallen while remortgaging is at its lowest since 1999.

Bank of England

Net mortgage approvals for house purchases fell to 43,300 in September, the lowest level since January 2023while net approvals for remortgaging fell to 20,600 in September, the lowest level since January 1999, the Bank of England’s Money and Credit Report revealed yesterday.

This was the third consecutive month that mortgage approvals have fallen according to the Bank’s Money and Credit report for September and also the second lowest monthly total seen since the start of the year.


Anthony Codling, Managing Director Equity Research at RBC Capital Markets and Non-Executive Director of Twindig, says: “The housing market appears to be catching a cold, and we do not expect November’s Autumn Statement to administer a booster jab.

Anthony Codling, RBC Capital Markets
Anthony Codling, RBC Capital Markets

“It could be a cold and dark winter for the UK housing market. However, if CPI continues to fall allowing the Bank of England to reduce the Bank Rate, it might not be as dark or as cold as today’s headline figures suggest.”

Jason Tebb, Chief Executive of, adds: ““With approvals for house purchases, an indicator of future borrowing, dipping in September to the lowest level since January, buyers remain cautious in light of numerous interest rate rises and the continued high cost of living.

“With inflation sticking at 6.7% last month, all eyes will be on the Bank of England to see whether it raises rates again this week, further impacting the affordability of those relying on mortgages.”


James Forrester, Managing Director of Birmingham-based estate agents Barrows and Forrester, agrees and adds that ‘the goalposts’ for homebuyers have been moving.

James Forrester, Barrows & Forrester
James Forrester, Barrows and Forrester

He says: “So you can forgive them for growing a little weary now that we’re approaching the final months of 2023 and a freeze in interest rates simply hasn’t been the sufficient boost the market needed to spring back into life as we approach the end of the year.

“We expect these lethargic market conditions will persist until next year, however, we don’t believe a significant market correction is on the horizon.”


And Verona Frankish, Chief Executive of Yopa, says: “September saw mortgage market activity dip yet again, not only for the third month in a row, but to the second lowest level seen so far this year.

Verona Frankish, Yopa
Verona Frankish, Yopa

“This latest reduction has only further reversed the market momentum that had been building for much of the last year since, although it’s important to note that a seasonal influence is also at play here.”

And Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS Residential Chairman, says: “Like buyer enquiries and property appraisals, mortgage approvals help to understand the direction of travel for the market and determine whether prospective purchasers take the plunge.

“The increase in effective interest rates and the shortage of stock are continuing to result in a flattening, rather than a significant reduction, in sales.”

Mortgage approvals data, Bank of England, September 23
Source: Bank of England

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